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Top 10 Unreleased Consoles

9.  Indrema L600 Entertainment SystemIndrema

Now seriously, you had to have heard of Indrema’s L600… No?  Well ok, me neither.  This might just be the most futile example of an unknown going up against the established console manufacturers of the time (Nintendo and Sony, with Sega gasping for air and the Xbox looming on the horizon).  Unlike other companies whose vaporware is represented here, Indrema didn’t start out in the console business, or even in the electronics business.  In fact, Indrema didn’t “start” until developer John Gildred founded the company early in the year 2000 for the express purpose of putting a unique, open-source console on the market.

Gildred had a vision of a Linux-based gaming console that anyone could develop software (i.e. games) for, especially the end-user.  He planned on handing out free developer kits to any and all users interested, items that gaming companies generally charge around $10,000 for.  Upon launch 30 titles were to be available, along with the ability to act as an MP3 storage device and a generalized multimedia machine with the capability to play CDs and DVDs.  The planned release was also to include a web browser for TV-based Internet surfing and a function to record and playback TV much like today’s TiVo and DVR services.  As if all of this wasn’t enticing enough back in 2000 (remember, back in 2000 we were just barely on the cusp of widespread online multiplayer functionality), Gildred also mentioned the ability to slide out the graphics processor so that a new one could be easily inserted as technology advanced, promised full HDTV support, and announced that instead of memory cards the L600 would use 10GB-capacity discs.  DAMN.  And all of this for only about $300.  Not a bad deal for nearly 15 years ago.

L600 Prototype

A release was expected by most to fall within the holiday season of 2000, but fans began to grow suspicious when it seemed that no official announcements were ever going to be made and Gildred was only able to offer up scattered emails on the subject.  Another date of Summer 2001 floated around for some time, but again Indrema had little to show aside from a handful of press releases.  Finally, Gildred put all the rumors to rest when he closed down Indrema in the spring of 2001, informing fans that he needed more than $10 million in capital to keep the project afloat.  In a final chat session, he swallowed his pride and, to any future developers, stated “finish product before talking about it.”

In the end, the L600 sounded way too good to be true; a console out of nowhere that does EVERYTHING?  Sure…but hell, I would’ve bought one.

 Written by The Cubist

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2 Comments

  1. Now that sounds like an amazing piece of machinery, I would love to have this console.

     
    • Too bad Gildred just dreamed the whole thing up in his head. It’s almost as if he said “yeah! it has that!” any time anyone brought up a feature. “Marshmallow roaster?” “Yeah, uh, yes, yes definitely. Our team is, um, putting the final touches on the Indrema’s Marshmallow Roaster as we speak. It’ll also feature the ability to uhhhhh crush, ah um, ice cubes! Yes it does that too!”

       

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